We tapped experts for layout tips and tricks.

Claire Harmeyer
Updated May 18, 2020 1:22 pm
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There are definitely pros and cons to living in a studio apartment. The space is entirely yours, it can feel super cozy, and the possibility of creepy noises coming from another room is eliminated. However, if you don’t have the proper layout in mind when designing your studio apartment, it can end up feeling cluttered. With the right furniture, decor, and design ideas in your arsenal, though, your studio won’t feel like a tiny dorm room when finished, but like an adult home instead.

Even with a shortage of square footage, there are a multitude of ways to maximize every square inch of your studio apartment.

Utilizing vertical space, creating clever areas for storage, and strategically dividing the space are all game-changers when it comes to turning your studio apartment into a comfortable home. But maybe the biggest game-changer is finding the perfect furniture for the space. Amazon has tons of options for studio apartment furniture from loungers to kitchen shelving to under-bed storage containers. Below, we detailed the best ways to design your studio apartment for maximum livability, plus the best Amazon finds to get the job done efficiently and stylishly.

Divide the space

One of the main complaints with studio apartments is that it can feel strange to be “living in” your bedroom. To fix this issue, divide the space into separate “rooms.” You can do this in a variety of ways: With a traditional room divider, a bookshelf, or curtains. The good thing about opting for curtains as a divider is that you can completely close off the space when guests arrive if you want your bedroom to be hidden. Using bookshelves as dividers kills two birds with one stone by separating the space and providing much-needed storage.

Bush Furniture Cabot 16 Cube Bookcase

Amazon

Shop it! $251.70, amazon.com.

Modern Dark Brown Wood 4-Panel Open Bookcase Room Divider

Amazon

Shop it! $179.99, amazon.com.

Another way to divide the space less literally is by using rugs to visually separate spaces in the apartment. Placing an area rug under your couch, chaise lounge, or coffee table arrangement (AKA your “living room”) will differentiate that area from your bedroom and kitchen areas.

Unique Loom Solo Solid Shag Collection Modern Plush Cloud Gray Area Rug

Amazon

Shop it! $49.56 (orig. $79), amazon.com.

Utilize vertical space

Vertical space should never be ignored when designing a room, but especially in studio apartments, where all space needs to be utilized. The best way to maximize your walls is by using them for storage or shelving. Studio apartments rarely have more than one closet, so think of your hanging shelves as a linen closet, or as a pantry if lack of cupboard space calls for it. Shelving on walls can also serve as a pop of personality among functional pieces of furniture.

BOLUO Gold Wall Shelf Modern White Floating Shelves

Amazon

Shop it! $33.88, amazon.com.

Use this three-tiered shelf for decor-like plants, picture frames, and candles, or make it more functional by storing towels and toiletries on it if you hang it in your bathroom.

Frenchi Home Furnishing Coat Rack

Amazon

Shop it! $30.82, amazon.com.

A coat rack is always a good idea for any apartment, but especially studios where closet space tends to be slim. I have this coat rack in my tiny New York City apartment, and I share it with two roommates. I’ve been amazed by how many jackets, hats, scarves, and purses we’ve been able to fit on this rack. We also hide our broom and mop behind it, because we don’t have a closet for cleaning supplies—that’s NYC living for you!

4-Tier Metal Bathroom Shelf Space Saver

Amazon

Shop it! $28.49 (orig. $61.99), amazon.com.

Your studio apartment likely won’t have a linen closet, so utilize the vertical space above your toilet for toiletries, tissues, and towels.

Hang mirrors

Another great way to utilize vertical space is by hanging mirrors. Using mirrors to make a space feel bigger is a tried and true design trick, and it’s always reliable. Mirrors reflect light and bounce it around the space, instantly making it feel larger than it is.

Schliersee Full Length Over The Door Mirror 2 Pack

Amazon

Shop it! $78.99, amazon.com.

Hanging these mirrors over a closet or entry door is super simple, and instantly makes your studio apartment feel bigger. Plus, it’s nice to take a final look at yourself before heading out.

NeuType Full Length Mirror Standing Hanging or Leaning Against Wall

Amazon

Shop it! $149.99, amazon.com.

This mirror can be laid upright on the floor like above, or hung on the wall vertically or horizontally, if you want to widen the space further.

Choose multifunctional furniture

When choosing the furniture for your studio apartment, multi-functionality is key. You don’t have the luxury of picking pieces that only serve the role of looking nice—they have to serve a second purpose to make up for the lack of space.

HONBAY Convertible Sectional Sofa Couch

Amazon

Shop it! $239.99 (orig. $329.99), amazon.com.

This couch is ideal for a studio apartment because the end piece can be moved to either side of the sofa for laying down, or converted into a sharable ottoman.

BELLEZE Velveteen Button Tufted Storage Spa Chaise Lounge

Amazon

Shop it! $279.99 (orig. $379.99), amazon.com.

If you’re tighter on space and can’t fit a full-size couch in your studio apartment, opt for this chaise lounge. Bonus: the cushion opens up for extra storage.

Kitchen tables for studio apartments

Winsome Suzanne 3-PC Set Space Saver Kitchen, Coffee Finish

Amazon

Shop it! $125.07, amazon.com.

This piece of kitchen furniture is screaming to be inside a studio apartment. Stools are easily tucked under the table to be pulled out when needed, and a drop leaf expands the table size for preparing food or eating. Plus, two drawers offer extra storage space for utensils or linens.

Homury Modern Wood 3 Piece Dining Set

Amazon

Shop it! $111.99, amazon.com.

This table and stool set is another great option for dining that takes up little space. Place the stools on either end of the table for an intimate meal, and slide underneath when finished eating. You can also move the table away from the wall for a “floating” layout, which Helwig says will make the space feel bigger.

Tribesigns 3-Piece Pub Table Set

Amazon

Shop it! $139.99, amazon.com.

This sleek bar seating adds height to your space, and the stools can easily live underneath the table when they’re not in use.

Whitmor Supreme Baker’s Rack with Food Safe Removable Wood Cutting Board

Amazon

Shop it! $62.29, amazon.com.

I have this kitchen cart in my NYC apartment, and it’s exactly what the space needed. The shelves offer ample storage space for pots, pans, dishes, and blenders, while the hooks are perfect for hanging mugs (which looks super cute). The counter space is ideal for a large utensil holder, tiered produce basket, and extra food preparation space (which is much-needed in small apartments). The assembly was easy, too.

Silverwood Sinclair 2-Tier Serving Cart 2

Amazon

Shop it! $79.03 (orig. $159.99), amazon.com.

Bar carts are more decorative pieces of furniture for your studio apartment, but are still super functional. This gold one offers slots to hold wine bottles and has ample space for glasses and other alcohol. Plus, wheels allow you to easily move the cart if needed.

Try transparent furniture

Another way to make your studio apartment feel bigger is by opting for transparent furniture. “I’m a big fan of a ghost chair or a wireframe coffee table with a glass top. These add depth and function to the space without clutter,” Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker at Triplemint Peta Couzens tells HelloGiggles.

Before choosing see-through furniture, make sure you don’t need the piece to double as storage space. Coffee tables with drawers or stools that open up can be extremely helpful for storing things in studio apartments. If you’re set for storage, use see-through furniture to make the space feel lighter and less cluttered.

Flash Furniture Elon Series Ghost Chair with Gold Metal Base

Amazon

Shop it! $66.99, amazon.com.

Convenience Concepts Coffee Table, Clear Glass/Chrome Frame

Amazon

Shop it! $123.02 (orig. $135.95), amazon.com.

Utilize the space under your bed

Although your bed will take up the most space out of anything in your apartment, it also serves as a cover for tons of stowaways underneath. Pack away seasonal clothes and push luggage underneath. However, be sure to think through the process of pulling bins out from the bed before committing to the idea.

Prepac Full Mate’s Platform Storage Bed with 6 Drawers

Amazon

Shop it! $306.92 (orig. $446.70), amazon.com.

With built-in drawers, and shelves, this bed frame serves as a bed, dresser, and bookshelf all in one. If you prefer to save space under your bed for items like suitcases and bins of seasonal clothes, or you don’t have space to open the drawers, opt for a bed without built-in drawers, and use rolling or sliding clothing organizers that you can easily pull from under the bed.

Whitmor Rolling White Wire Underbed Cart

Amazon

Shop it! $18.56, amazon.com.

Ziz Home Under Bed Shoe Organizer

Amazon

Shop it! $12.99 (orig. $16.99), amazon.com.

Lifewit Under Bed Clothes Organizer Large Adjustable Dividers

Amazon

Shop it! $32.99, amazon.com.

With these Amazon buys, your studio apartment should be well-designed in no time.